This is a new normal to all of us. While we as adult struggle to manage our stress and anxiety during these challenging times - imagine our kids, teenagers, and elders. I therefore have been focusing on being a good role model for my children beginning with a positive attitude - at least I try. Here are a few ways we can manage our day and embrace the present.
1. Attitude will be key today and every day. With four children in the house home schooling - I’m busy. I could get frustrated that I’m running back and forth from one kid to another to help with computer issues, school work, or trouble shooting…never feeling like I’m enough. But I try not to. My goal every day is to have a positive attitude - without it, I’ll be lost. Now, I make sure my kids know that it takes effort! They will hear me say - stay positive and let’s work through this! If you have teenagers at home for the time being - spoil them. Why not? This is your time to make them feel good and cared for. They will learn the value of compassion for one another!
2. Enjoy your morning coffee/tea. If you need your morning quiet - set your clock 20-30 minutes early. Load the coffee maker the night before and it’ll be ready to brew in the morning saving you some minutes of more sleep. If you enjoy spending quality time with your children in the morning - do it! Set the alarms get up and enjoy breakfast together. Share one thing that each one of you would like to get done that day and plan it into the schedule! This will teach them the importance of sitting down eating and socializing with the family - not grabbing stuff and rush out the door.
3. Schedule walks with your family members. It’s amazing what you can learn about a person’s day in 20 minutes and how it helps relieve stress! My girls keep talking for the whole walk and I learn so much about their personalities. With a pre-teen in the house it’s hard to get her to share life and experiences. But when we are out on a walk we bond like never before - she opens up. Maybe it’s the lack of eye contact and fresh air that allows this to happen. Whatever it is, I love it! Showing your kids that movement is important enough to schedule - they will remember it when they are stressed in life. Talk about why it’s important to get out of the house. Ask them how they feel before and after the walk - teach them to be mindful of their mood and feelings.
4. Plan your meals. This is something I struggle with. With the shortage of food and the risk of going to the stores…I wait and I wait. Then it’s time to go. The uncertainty of finding what you plan to cook makes it hard for me to plan. I’m a big proponent of meal planning but have to admit that I find it hard to do these days - I’ll go for the frozen food although I prefer fresh. You make the best of it and I find that I focus more on what the kids like to eat vs. what they should eat. Now, that’s a compromise I’m ok with during these times. The one thing they are learning is to not waste. When the berries are out…we might be without for a few days or maybe a week.
5. Exercise. Don’t even think about what you used to get done. How you used to feel after a workout. Just do something! Set your goal for the day and do it. If you don’t achieve the 5 mile run that you had set out to complete - be happy with the 3 miles you did! ANYTHING is better than NOTHING! Bring your kids and focus on their exercise and movement - they might need it more than you right now! Follow me on Facebook to see our family workouts!
6. Dinner time together! How often did you eat dinner as a family. Without all the after school activities we are now able to make dinner together, set the table, eat dinner together, and clean up together. This is an excellent time to share the chores and divide and conquer. Kids will learn essential skills that they will thank you for later in life - believe it or not!
7. Read and play board games. Take the opportunity to schedule in reading by yourself or with kids if you have young once. Explore books together. Talk about the books. Play board games and teach the skill of patience. Oh my! My kids to learn the skill of patience. Playing board games is a great way to teach this skill - if you start…you finish! 8. Don’t forget your partner. With all that is going on it’s easy to focus on kids and your own stress and anxiety management. Together we are stronger. Make sure to check-in with each other every day. What goals do you have for these next few months (let’s say 3 months) and how can you support each other to get it done. Make it special once a week and schedule a date night. Order take out and support your local businesses. Make an effort to make it special.
We are in this together and YOUR ATTITUDE can make a BIG DIFFERENCE!